New Straits Times
Lifelong learning a pathway to success
UPON her return from a sabbatical, the editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine found her 26-year-old former assistant taking charge of the editorial floor. Armed with a business degree, naked ambition and an iPhone, the former assistant announces she has been brought in to turn the magazine into an app.
Feeling left out and lost among the 20-something online writers at their desks day and night, the editor-in-chief is not ready to give up her hardearned career without a fight.
She started to pick up technology know-how, the lingo and even learnt how to create an app.
Though this is just a fictional character in Lucy Sykes’ and Jo Piazza’s latest novel, , it reflects the real world where Generations Y and Z plus rapid changes in technology are taking over traditional ways of doing work.
It is this kind of scenario that probably prompted the Higher Education Ministry, in 2011, to publish its blueprint on the
that outlines strategic initiatives to develop the lifelong learning industry for the 10-year period of 2011-2020.
In this blueprint, lifelong learning is defined as the development of human potential through a continuous supportive process which stimulates and empowers individuals to acquire all the knowledge, values, skills and understanding they will require throughout their lifetime and to apply them with confidence, creativity and enjoyment in all roles, circumstances and environment.
University of Malaya Centre for Continuing Education (UMCCed) director Professor Datuk Dr Mansor Md. Isa said lifelong learning should benefit participants in the form of increased competency in their work, upgrade skills, widen and update knowledge and improve social networking.
It also equips people with skills and knowledge that will advance their career.
A study conducted last year related to the achievement of UMCCed Executive Diploma graduates indicates that the programmes have been beneficial in terms of development of their careers including a better job offer, promotion and salary increase as well as an opportunity to further studies at a higher level.
“The target group is working adults and there are two types who participate in lifelong learning programmes. The first are those who did not have the chance to continue their education at the tertiary level upon finishing secondary school and who are now presented with a second chance,” said Mansor.
“The reasons could be due to poor academic performance, financial or social constraints. After joining the workforce, they find the opportunity to study. The second type of adult learners are those who want to study because they want to advance their career or acquire skills or knowledge.
“These are the core lifelong learning participants. They study because they want to improve